Saudi Arabia introduces 'pink' women-only parking spaces it lifts driving ban

Saudi Arabia introduces 'pink' women-only parking spaces it lifts driving ban

Saudi Arabia allowed women to drive on Sunday, June 24, overturning the world's only ban on female motorists, a historic reform that is expected to usher in a new era of social mobility.

It's part of a series of reforms by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to transform the Saudi economy and society.

The ride-hailing app Careem has pledged to have 20,000 female drivers operating in Saudi Arabia by 2020.

"It was ideal. Everything was smooth, I felt I belong in the seat", she said afterwards. One said, 'Sister drivers, we wish you safety always'.

Women drove up and down a road in Al Khobar city at night and cheered as the police looked on, Reuters reported.

Forty-seven-year-old Clinical Psychologist Samira al-Ghamdi is among those who have already received a driving licence.

The lifting of the ban, which for years drew global condemnation and comparisons to the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan, has been welcomed by Western allies as proof of a new progressive trend in Saudi Arabia.

Reports have emerged that some women's rights campaigners were arrested shortly before the end of the driving ban.

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Also supporting prices was a drop in Libyan supplies due to the collapse of an estimated 400,000-barrel storage tank. Iran has objected to having members with additional capacity such as Saudi Arabia fill Venezuelan output gaps.

Hessah al-Ajaji drives down the busy Tahlia Street after midnight for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, June 24, 2018.

Women and their families began tweeting photos and videos of women driving and celebrating.

"In the beginning years, like to two and three, I'm a little scared about the people".

Aseel is responsible for creation of strategies to promote the education and training of women in motorsport in Saudi Arabia. Now, they don't need private chauffeurs or male relatives if they want to go for an outing.

"I definitely won't like to drive", said Fayza al-Shammary, a 22-year-old saleswoman. "I'm just too proud to be doing this right now". "There will be women who fire the chauffeur and drive in the auto they already own". Saudi Arabia was the last country to have a ban on women when it comes to operating motor vehicles.

"I'm speechless. I'm so excited it's actually happening", said Hessah al-Ajaji, who drove her family's Lexus in the capital, Riyadh, at the stroke of midnight when the ban came to an end. The situation is a far cry from Kenya where women have nearly equal rights to men except in the conservative north. Many are active on social media, where Saudis are vocal about the pace of change. Cousins Qais and Abdelaziz al-Qahtan object to the decision on a personal level but dare not oppose a royal decree in this absolute monarchy.

The prince's reforms risk sparking dissent within the kingdom.

At the Bikers Skills Institute, General Manager Wael bin Huraib says more than 80 women have registered to take the course and five have completed it since he opened it up to females three months ago. Almaeena told Arab News that the event was changing her life by "facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free".

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